The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Article

Issues in Online Focus Groups: Lessons Learned from an Empirical Study of Peer‑to‑Peer Filesharing System Users  pp121-136

Jerald Hughes, Karl R. Lang

© Jul 2003 Volume 2 Issue 2, Editor: Arthur Money, pp47 - 170

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Abstract

The development of easy‑to‑use Internet tools for synchronous communications has made a new research method possible: online focus groups. Attempts to apply them to questions formerly addressed by face‑to‑face focus groups have resulted not only in promising avenues for research, but also in substantive criticism. We have chosen to adopt online focus groups as a research methodology for a qualitative study of user beliefs and attitudes concerning peer‑to‑peer filesharing systems. This project is still in its early stages, so herein we describe not confirmatory findings of rigorous research, but the issues raised by our exploratory study, and indications of important issues to address in the use of online focus groups. This paper also demonstrates a novel analysis method which visually maps one of the unique characteristics of such groups, multi‑threaded simultaneous conversations, and uses such maps to identify some notable tendencies and behaviors. We also identify some typical participant strategies we have observed, describe some skills and techniques for use in moderating such sessions, identify some powerful advantages provided by the instant and automatic transcript generation capabilities of chat session software, and characterize some important research questions to be addressed in future research.

 

Keywords: online focus groups, qualitative, focus group methodology, file-sharing, digital music, digital media

 

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Journal Article

Using Plenary Focus Groups in Information Systems Research: More than a Collection of Interviews  pp209-216

Polly Sobreperez

© Nov 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Ann Brown, pp123 - 216

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Abstract

Qualitative techniques for the collection of empirical materials are classically identified as including interviews and observations. However a further technique has more recently emerged known as the group interview or focus group, which may be applicable only to certain types of research situation but is widely overlooked and can add a level of knowledge and richness not available through other techniques. This paper follows the growth of focus group research, looks for situations in Information Systems research where this technique gives unique insights, and describes the conduct and application of the technique in a case study setting. An example of a useful structuring technique is described and conclusions are drawn concerning a particular type of focus group in information systems qualitative research which may well be useful in other research scenarios.

 

Keywords: research instrument, focus groups, data collection, empirical technique

 

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Journal Article

Psychogeography – Providing a Lens on Corporate Culture and its Potential Impact on Career Success: A Novel and Efficient Approach  pp99-108

Dorothy Wardale, Linley Lord

© Oct 2017 Volume 15 Issue 2, Editor: Ann Brown, pp57 - 141

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Abstract

Psychogeography refers to the loose interface between psychology and geography. Specifically it examines how we impact on the environment and the environment impacts on us. As a process it involves intimately observing the environment and seeing what may have been previously unobserved. Participants then construct meaning from these observations. This paper describes how we used a time‑limited psychogeography approach followed immediately by a focus group as research method. The aim was to determine if examining participants’ work environment would potentially enable them to identify enablers and barriers to career success. The findings from these two short interventions are compared to the more often used semi‑structured interview approach to reveal that the psychogeography provided another lens to the research. Interestingly factors that were uncovered in the psychogeography and focus groups were generally different to those identified in the interviews. The participants were a group of high‑potential academic women at a large public university in Western Australia. They were enrolled in a career and leadership development program aimed at assisting women access promotions and other senior roles leadership within the university Much of the women’s career development literature focuses on ‘fixing women’ and not the system. To that end we wanted to use a method, in addition to interview questions, to uncover aspects of the corporate environment that might impact on women’s decisions to progress their careers. We asked participants to dérive, stroll or wander within their university campus with a view to observing any ‘career enablers and barriers at work’. To not impose any further burden on their time, and to manage the wealth of data generated by the psychogeography, we asked the women to immediately share their insights through a structured focus group discussion. Participants found the psychogeography exercise a novel approach to discovering and rediscovering their work environment. The findings revealed aspects of the work environment that had not previously been overt. These included participants’ appreciation of students having fun and a carnival atmosphere within the campus yet a simultaneous concern at the lack of quiet spaces to support scholarship and research; a disparity of investment in infrastructure improvements across various schools and faculties, which led to discussions of how disparately workload was managed by different managers; staff being segregated from students and other staff with security doors; the number of steps at the university and the impact this would have on some people with a disability. One pleasing and unexpected outcome of the psychogeography exercise was the level of energy and collegiality it generated. The exercise was conducted at an early stage in an eight‑month career development program and its use heightened participant’s awareness of aspects of their work environment’s impact on career success that may have otherwise remained uncovered or unexamined. Our view is that psychogeography; within a limited timeframe is a valuable method to employ. When the data from such a method is captured though a focus group the impost on participant’ times is lessened, the quality of data is retained with the combined research method producing novel findings that may be different to other more traditional qualitative research methods. In our case, they helped uncover aspects of university culture and enculturation to which many research participants had been previously oblivious.

 

Keywords: Psychogeography, focus groups, career success, gender, qualitative research, corporate culture

 

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Journal Article

The Nexus Between Teaching and Research: A Qualitative Study Using two Focus Group on Academic Information Systems Teachers  pp37-56

Kevin Grant, Stuart Fitzgerald

© Sep 2005 Volume 3 Issue 1, Editor: Arthur Money, pp1 - 92

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Abstract

Over the last two decades or so, the discussion of and research into the question of a nexus between teaching and research, has expanded exponentially. Much has been learnt, and said; with a growing rhetoric, with only general insights emerging and being supported by particular empirical evidence. The study of a nexus between teaching and research is not a single coherent field; rather it is beset by epistemological, methodological, political and practical differences. To date, much of the discussion and research on the nexus has arisen due to varying views and alleged agreed consensus as to the nature of the academic profession; the role of the academyuniversity and thus, how the concepts of teaching and research (including scholarship) have been conceptualised and enacted to inform teaching practice. There is a continuing debate as to whether research undertaken by academic staff within the boundaries of a university adds value to the teaching and student learning. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the usefulness of focus groups as a way of exploring and making sense of the conceptions staff have with regard to the nexus between teaching and research. Two focus groups were held with a sample of IS academic teachers. The merits and limitations of using a focus group are discussed given this area of investigation with some possible research areas highlighted. The paper argues that focus groups for this type of study are not appropriate on their own and should be considered as part of a much wider and multi methods research design when attempting to make sense of a complex, multifaceted and emotional areas of teaching, research, scholarship, administration, management and knowledge transfer; and the identify of IS in Higher Education.

 

Keywords: Focus Groups, Information Systems, Academic Identity

 

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Journal Article

Challenges of Multicultural Data Collection and Analysis: Experiences From the Health Information System Research  pp75-82

Reetta Raitoharju, Eeva Heiro, Ranjan Kini, Martin D'Cruz

© Dec 2009 Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009, Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina, pp1 - 116

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Abstract

The effect of culture has been popular topic in recent information system research. However, it is not a simple task to either collect or analyze data containing elements of "culture". This paper presents previous literature on how to measure culture, the theoretical background how to build this construct and a short description of empirical study we conducted in a multicultural environment. Our research topic was to examine the usage of health information exchange systems in two different kinds of healthcare sectors (i.e. Finland and USA). Finally we reflect on our experiences both in collecting data as well as in analyzing it through the lenses of cultural differences. Strengths and weaknesses of multicultural data collection are discussed together with opportunities and threats of analyzing data with the purpose of finding cultural elements.

 

Keywords: multicultural data collection, information systems, health care professionals, interview, focus groups

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 1, ECRM 2009 / Dec 2009  pp1‑116

Editor: Ann Brown, Joseph Azzopardi, Frank Bezzina

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Editorial

The 8th European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management attracted a wide range of papers. The conference fell naturally into four main themes: introducing relatively new techniques, in depth description of application of accepted research methods, overview of the whole research process and attempts to deal with intractable problems. The final selection of papers was agreed both the editor of the Journal and the editors of the conference proceedings, Joseph Azzopardi and Frank Bezzina. The comments of session chairs were taken into account in making the final selection of papers for this issue of the EJBRM.

The quality of the papers was particularly high and the selection of those papers for the Journal presented a difficult choice. The papers selected were chosen for their quality of writing, their relevance to the Journal’s objective of publishing papers that offer new insights or practical help in the application of research methods in business research and to represent the four major themes of the conference.

The papers dealt with the problems facing management researchers in a variety of ways. The papers proposed a number on new and unusual methods, including Psychogeography ( Knowles) and webometrics (Romero‑Frias). Both of these papers focused on explaining the technique and its appropriateness to business research. Techniques dealt with in previous issues were also well represented including mixed methods (Ryan); Grounded Theory (Noel & Kamyangale); REP Grid (Klaus). Several papers offered some valuable insights into key steps of the research process including audit trail (Carcary) and data collection problems and interpretation ( Iacono, Brown and Holtham; Rasmussen, and Heiko; Heiro and Reetta). The paper by Brooke and Parker introduced a new dimension (spirituality) to the philosophy of business research. One paper offered an intriguing review of leadership research (Mortimer).

 

Keywords: brand identity, brand personality, business intelligence, business management, business survey, critical management, essential self, fact-based, feminist research methods, focus groups, Foucault, grounded theory, health care professionals, higher education, information systems, information technology, internet studies, interpretivist paradigm, interview, leadership theory, London, longitudinal case work, luxury brand, meaning and work, methodology, multicultural data collection, nonresponse, organisations, organisations audit trail, organizational culture, participant observation, philosophy, Protestant Ethic, psychogeography, qualitative data, qualitative online research, qualitative research, qualitative research methods, regional development, religion, Repertory Grid Method, research confirmability, trustworthiness, research design, research methods , research strategies, safety in the field, self-selection, SMEs, spirituality, steel trading case, transferability, Web 2.0, Web minin

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 15 Issue 2 / Oct 2017  pp57‑141

Editor: Ann Brown

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Editorial

ec6b0d90e60fa8dcfba4e184b3080a78Dr Ann Brown is a Senior Lecturer in Information Management in the Faculty of Management at Cass Business School and Associate Dean for the Undergraduate programme. She took an MSc (Operational Research) at LSE while working at the British Steel Corporation as an Operational Researcher. She obtained her doctorate from City University in 2005, based on her work into the problems and potential of Information Systems applications to create Business Value for organisations. She supports a number of IS academic conferences through her work as a member of conference committees. She was a member of the editorial panel for Information and Management until 2008. Her research spans the exploitation of IS in organisations, the application of qualitative research methods and the impact of non traditional Teaching and Learning methods on student achievement, such as activity based learning. 

 

Keywords: qualitative, methodology, saturation, sampling, interview, coding, gerund, data analysis, constructivist grounded theory, whole networks, inter-organizational networks, evolving markets, connected health, network ethnography, anthropological research methods, insider action research, researching entrepreneurship, digital entrepreneurship, Psychogeography, focus groups, career success, gender, qualitative research, corporate culture, CQR, qualitative methods, management research, document analysis, semi-structured interviews, Delphi, Delphi method characteristics, Delphi method variants, Information systems research, Taxonomy, Taxonomy development, Phenomenology, Arts Research, Qualitative Methodology, Alchemy Methodology, arts-based research, Husserl

 

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